Nick Rozsa Loves Big Waves

Nick Rozsa Nick Rozsa. Photo: William Sharp

I like Nick Rozsa’s surfing. Big fan. I love his web edits. They’re exciting, they build, they make me wanna surf. Know who was over them? Nick. So how does one get out of a creative rut? You get the blood going. The heart pumping. And let’s just say the last edit I saw from Nick during this past El Niño winter had a few more feet of length on the foam ­— and about 15 more on the (wave) face. —Beau Flemister

SURFING: So, Nick. You’re not necessarily known for your big-wave prowess. What the hell happened this year?
NICK ROZSA: Honestly, I think I just got bored doing the same thing over and over again and I just wanted to do something new. The big-wave thing just seemed more exciting to me. I’ve been doing the small-wave thing for a long time and it’s fun, but jumping into bigger waves — it’s sparked a new motivation for me and made me appreciate the sport so much more. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new people; it’s just a whole cool, new direction. And it feels natural for me. I was intimidated at first, but I wanted to give it a shot and test the waters.

So you just ordered a quiver of 10’0”s and…went?
I had a bunch of boards made at the same time and committed to this winter because I knew that if I wanted to go big, this was gonna be the winter to do it. I’m actually really stoked that I made that call because the waves out in front of my house have pretty much been dog-shit the whole winter. I think I made the right decision.

Did you have a mentor or someone to show you the ropes?
At the beginning of the winter I started at Todos Santos, which I was already familiar with. Then after doing three consecutive trips down to Todos, I went to Maverick’s four times. Some of them with an inflation vest, some of them without. Then I surfed Jaws toward the end of the winter, which was really special. As far as mentors, I called Albee Layer and he took me out there [Jaws] and it wasn’t huge, like 15 feet, but still really fun. I actually ended up surfing it by myself for two hours before dark. Basically, both of my friends were too tired and beat up, so I just went by myself. I don’t know how many people could say they got to surf a session out there alone; it was amazing.

seth de roulet nick rozsaPhoto: Seth de Roulet

You think you’re gonna carry this trend into the summer with the big Southern Hemi swells?
I’m gonna try. I definitely want to chase some swells. If I get the call and the opportunity’s there, I’ll give it a go. Like, if Teahupoo’s gonna be gigantic, or maybe Fiji — Fiji looks like the sickest wave ever when it’s big. I’d love to surf there.

What, are you turning into a full big-wave guy now?
Nah [laughs]. I don’t really train or anything…yet. The inflation vests have helped my confidence — even if they are a false sense of security — but they have given me more comfort out there. As far as smaller waves, though, I still love doing airs and stuff, so I’m not throwing in the towel on that style of surfing.